It's Time You Registered to Vote (Make Sure You Register Before April 20th)

Register to Vote Here

This is a reminder for those of you that haven't registered to vote yet that you need to do so this week! 

It is incredibly important to vote even though you make think that is doesn't matter. In the last election in 2010 only 44%, less than half, of 18-24 year olds voted and a lot of young people feel largely overlooked during the last government. It isn't true that we don't care about the NHS, housing, immigration to name a few and it is about time that we exercised our right to vote and make our voices heard. I'm 22 now, and in five years time at the next election I'll be nearly 28, I'm not sure what is going to happen in that time but I want to know that buying a house isn't going to be a ridiculous prospect and that I'll still have access to free and accessible healthcare to say the least. Bite The Ballot states that politicians write policies for people that vote so it is time we stopped letting other people, especially the 75% of over 65's that voted in the last election, make decisions for us (and is you're not convinced watch this clip from Channel 4). Even if you don't want to vote for any of the parties, make sure you register and then just spoil your ballot paper to let the politicians know that young people are interested in voting (of course it would be better to vote for an actual party!).  

I wasn't quite old enough to vote in the last election so this is the first time I'm able to participate and I've been doing my best to educate myself on the parties and their policies. It can be difficult to see though all the jargon and know where to start so I've put together a list of resources that I have been using and that I think would help you out too:

X by Channel 4 - This is a good place to start if you really have no idea why you should vote. Channel 4 have put together a mini website for young people to encourage you to vote. It answers all your questions including Why bother? What if I don't know who to vote for? & What if I don't like any of the parties? 

The Verto App - For a quick and easy way to find out which party/parties you most agree with on each issue you can use this app. A bit like Tinder you swipe left or right on each statement depending on if you agree or disagree. It will then show you your results, and those of your constituency and the rest of your country, on a colour coded wheel with a breakdown of what percent you agree with each party. 

Vote for Policies - For a more in depth way to find out which party you side with you can take the Vote for Policies survey. Decide which issues you care most about (or pick all of them) and the survey will provide you with an anonymous statement from each party so you can choose which you agree with the most. At the end it will give you a pie chart to show you which parties you most agreed with and give you a breakdown of whose policies you selected. This survey takes a lot more time but will you give you a clearer idea of each party's manifesto. 

BBC Newsbeat Election 2015 - For up to date news and information regarding the election and the political parties check out the Newsbeat election website (you can also follow them on Facebook). If you listen to Radio 1 you'll already have heard on Newsbeat which does a radio bulletin update every hour and often speaks about issues affecting young people. One of the best things about them is they will be conducting interviews with all the party leaders in the Live Lounge allowing young people to ask them questions face to face. They're also breaking down the party manifestos as they are released this week in terms of how they affect young people - the Labour manifesto came out today and is available on Newsbeat here

That is about the extent of my knowledge as I don't want to sway you towards any particular party or reveal who I'll be voting for. My best tip is to get involved and find out as much information as you can. Yes politics is infuriating, I have been shouting at the TV I must admit, but it is important so please Register to Vote Here.



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